Lately, I’ve noticed something. I don’t think this is really a new realization, but more a connecting the dots kind of moment. I was talking with my girlfriend Meg the other day about how little it seems that we actually see or hangout with potential acquaintances, friends, or even really the important people in our lives, and it dawned on me. With all the technology, and social media connections, snap stories (and Insta! *insert eye roll*) there seems to be such a laking of true, genuine human connections. The kind of friendships that are REAL friendships. I’m talking more than “oh let me text her today and see what she’s been doing” or the selection of your “best friends” within your snapchat to send your most recent snap video to. Those are all great, and fine, and dandy, or whatever other typical quote can be inserted here. BUT, where’s the coffee dates? Or the real phone calls involving dialing a number and hearing someones voice just to check up on them? Or the Saturday afternoon spent just shopping ’til you drop at a huge mall, and hopefully grabbing an Auntie Ann’s pretzel? I miss those days.
I miss knowing that you actually had solid people in your life. The kind that you could call on and know that they really would be there for you. To grab dinner and drinks with, to plan weekend trips with, to sing in the car at the top of your lungs with, or even to let you cry on their shoulder if you had a bad day with. I feel like we all lack that so much more than we realize now a days. And I don’t even mean the just being there when shits hitting the fan kind of people, I mean for each and every one of those good, positive times too. I hope I’m not the only one that can see or feel all of this. It’s as if everyone longs for it, feels like they need deeper connections, more time with people, yet we all continue to hide behind screens. If it’s not a laptop, its an iPad, and if it’s not an iPad, it’s a cell phone.
Often people will say “OMG, let’s do something! Its been forever” or “We definetely need to catch up!” yet nothing gets planned, no one carves out the time, or truly commits. Why is that? Where’s the real raw want for human connection? I’m not a yes person 100% of the time so I can understand plans changing from time to time, but what I’m talking about just feels different. It’s not really about plans changing, or someone who’s had a long day, is tired and no longer feels like being social. It’s about the lack of connections in our lives. Friendships that are only surface level, or acquaintances that will never cross over into real substantial friendships. I hope so much, and so often that things change.
I have a fairly young little sister who’s middle school age, and it’s crazy to think how different the world is now growing up with so much technology. Between social media apps, gifs, filters, and videos they rarely feel the need to actually “hangout.” There’s no hide and go seek in the street cul de sac, or fishing in the neighborhood pond anymore. I’m not gonna lie, it kind of makes me nervous for the future of us as a society.
This life is so crazy, so wild, so fun, and sometimes so so trying. To have people with you through it can create so much more meaning. I worry that as time goes on, less and less connections will be created between friends, siblings, or even whole families. That soon all that will matter will take place only on screens, and everyone will forget what it feels like to be cared about and truly connected with people.